The Kerala High court today refused bail to Robin Vakumchery, the Catholic priest accused of raping and impregnated a minor girl in Kottiyoor today.
Vadkumchery’s lawyer argued that the bail may be granted as police have completed investigations in the case and filed final report.
The bench headed by Justice Sunil Thomas however said there exists incriminating evidences of abuse and rape and the priest has to stay back and face trial.
Three weeks after the rape victim delivered a baby boy, the priest was arrested on 28 Feb, 2017 while trying to escape to Canada.
Initially pressurised by church authorities, the parents had kept the 17-year-old’s rape and childbirth under wraps.
The incident came to light after Childline officials in Kannur received tip-off in an anonymous letter.
Initially, the priest tried to implicate girl’s father for the pregnancy.
Father Vadakumchery was posted at Maanthavady Catholic Diocese Church .
The girl was a PlusOne student at the school attached to church, where the priest worked as manager.
In addition to priests , five nuns who concealed the crime against minor and report delivery are named in the chargesheet.
All accused have been arrested.
Bail Provision Under POCSO
All offences under POCSO are non-bailable offences. Granting bail after matter comes to court is left to the discretion of judicial magistrate. Some facts considered before deciding on allowing bail are :
- Nature and gravity of the crime
- It’s effect on society
- Accused previous history
- Evidences before the court
- If retaining the accused for purpose of investigation is important.
- If the accused is the only bread earner of his/her family.
- If there is possibility of the accused go into hiding or flee the country